Day 2 What is News? lesson

Prepared by: Jami Williams, Mexico High School, Mexico, Missouri

Students will use news values to analyze potential of story


  1. Presentation of scenarios to students
  2. Creating combination value newsworthy stories


  1. Level 1 (Basic) analysis of news values in application to story potential
  2. Level 1 (Basic) generation of association of combinations of news values to current media stories (teacher will need to generate these resources based on current events)


  1. The 9/11 Question PowerPoint
  2. At least two print stories (teacher’s choice of magazine, newspaper) and two broadcast stories (again, teacher’s choice)
  3. As many decks of news values cards as needed for groups of two to three people. (see News Value Printables)

Steps to check for student understanding

  1. Teacher will do frequent comprehension checks in the form of Classroom Assessment Techniques (thumbs up, thumbs down; exit slip in the form of post-it note summary)
  2. Formative assessment will be in the form of a student-created vine string tagged with the teacher-generated tag.


  1. Suggested bell ringer: Using the eight news values you learned yesterday, what is the most important story on a local level right now.
  2. Sharing of the bell-ringer with shoulder partner; each pair should make the decision as to what they will present to the class as the most important news story in their opinion
  3. Students will present their stories explaining the criteria from the eight news values that were used to evaluate.
  4. Teacher will present selection of news stories based on eight news values and allow students to evaluate their potential on a leveled scale (for example, is this front page news? Is this a feature?) Students will rank them according to the criteria that they perceive as the most important.
  5. Students will also make a list of “missing” news values – what is the story missing on the leveled scale used for qualifying.
  6. Discussion
  7. Teacher will introduce higher level learning activity: Combo
    1. Students will be divided into groups of three
    2. Students will draw three cards from the deck of news value cards they have been given.
    3. Using the three criteria drawn, each group of students must find news stories that feature those three values as their main values.
    4. Students should be prepared to share their information through the use of a Kagan Strategy such as Break-Out.

See Combo activity above.


  1. Exit slip: Which of the eight news values do you feel is often the most “exploited” or applied value in the national media and why?